Palesa Manaleng is a hand cyclist who has shared a call with South Africans to help her fund her dream to compete at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
Manaleng sustained her injuries in a 2014 cycling accident. After her bicycle brakes failed going downhill, she crashed into the palisade fence around the UJ rugby stadium and dislocated her spine, broke two ribs, punctured a lung, fractured a shoulder and sustained head injuries.
Manaleng says that while she was at a rehabilitation centre for her injuries, she would watch videos of wheelchair users who took part in sport and realised it was still possible for her to compete.
"Once I was discharged from the hospital, I emailed possible sports clubs looking for a team to join. I wrote to potential sponsors to help me purchase equipment. And while doing that I would wake up every morning at 6am and train up and down my street in my everyday wheelchair. Looking ahead, I plan to represent South Africa at all major competitions, world cups or world championships. You name it, I plan to be there and to break records" – Palesa Manaleng
Since her accident, Manaleng has represented South Africa in two para-cycling World Cups, she was named a national champion in athletics and twice named national champion in cycling. She also won the national H3 para-cycling title in the 2019 South African road championships event.
We believe that we can add massive value to the life of this remarkable athlete by stepping up to support her dream to be part of the upcoming Olympic games.